Monday, January 16, 2017

KHANA INDIAN GRILL

Khana is a very user-friendly purveyor of Indian cuisine.  They’ll cheerfully answer any questions which might come from the uninitiated, and believe me, I put them through their paces.  I got both a meal and an education on my lunch hour.

Indian cuisine is all about the spices, lots of them.  As many as ten spices can be combined to form what is known as a masala, which is then used to flavor sauces, soups or a main dish (known as a curry).  This isn’t the pitiful shake of salt and pepper Americans are used to.  Exotics such as saffron, cardamom, and curry leaves are added to more familiar players such as ginger, nutmeg, and hot chilies to create unusual yet mouth-watering combinations.

The Vegan Coconut Malai Curry  comes with slender, long grain basmati rice, blended with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves.  Malai translates as “cream”, but in this vegan incarnation it’s rich nutty coconut milk, blended with a flavorful curry.

The Vegan Coconut Malai Curry
For the side carbohydrate I substituted the traditional naan flatbread because naan contains yogurt and egg.  Paratha bread is a flaky wheat flour creation that is India’s answer to the croissant.

My lunch partner ordered the Samosa.

Samosa and Sambar

It is little crispy pastry pillows stuffed with potatoes and peas. They are complimented by ramekins of tamarind (a pulpy fruit) and cilantro chutney.  It was a cold day, so she also ordered the Sambar, a spicy lentil soup with green beans, carrots and squash.

Neither of us left hungry, nor did I suffer the indigestion for which I had braced myself.  Either my pallet has matured, or these folks really know how to make excellent Indian food.  I would check the box next to “both of the above”.

A word about where we ate as well as what we ate.  The décor is as authentic as the food.  Check out the imported hand-carved pendant lights.  Khana is also eco-conscious, outfitted with sustainably forested furniture, and using biodegradable serving ware for to-go orders.

So, for your next vegan adventure, travel to the subcontinent, or better yet, to 2101 North College Avenue in Fayetteville to Khana Indian Grill.

 https://khanaindiangrill.com

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